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Yankees hit big in MLB Rule 5 Draft with three pitchers taken

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Yankees’ non-roster pitching depth took a hit in Wednesday’s Rule 5 Draft.

A trio of right-handers the Yankees left unprotected were picked up by other teams during the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft, including the first two selections on a day when 10 players were selected overall.

The Athletics drafted Mitch Spence with the first pick before the Royals nabbed Matt Sauer with the second pick.

The Rangers then selected Carson Coleman with the 23rd pick.

Spence, 25, spent this year at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, posting a minor league-high 4.47 ERA over 163 innings. Sauer, 24, was the Yankees’ second-round pick in 2017, but his development was slowed by injuries, pitching to a 3.42 ERA in 68 ⅓ innings at Double-A Somerset this year. And Coleman, a 25-year-old reliever, missed all of 2023 after undergoing elbow surgery.

Spence, Sauer and Coleman – all of whom were cut from the Yankees’ 40-man roster before last month’s deadline – will have to spend all of 2024 on their new team’s major league roster or be offered new to the Yankees for $50,000.

Yankees pitcher Mitch Spence was selected by the Athletics in the MLB Rule 5 Draft. Charles Wenzelberg/NY Post

The Rangers selected Yankees pitcher Carson Coleman in the MLB Rule 5 Draft.
The Rangers selected Yankees pitcher Carson Coleman in the MLB Rule 5 Draft. Charles Wenzelberg/NY Post

The Yankees’ biggest losses in recent Rule 5 drafts include Garrett Whitlock to the Red Sox and Trevor Stephan to the Guardians.

The Yankees had built up some solid next-level pitching depth, but some of it is in flux this week.

Besides the three pitchers lost in the Rule 5 draft, they traded Richard Fitts to the Red Sox as part of a package for Alex Verdugo and could deal Michael King, Drew Thorpe and other arms to the Padres for Juan Soto in a blockbuster that was gaining ground. momentum on Wednesday.

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